ANKARA: Amid the rising death toll in Turkey after a series of devastating earthquakes, the Turkish leadership is now facing the wrath of helpless and angry citizens in the most-affected regions as they look for basic amenities like food, shelter, water and electricity. According to reports coming from Turkey, there is growing anger among the residents here and most of them have been protesting against visits by high-profile leaders, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan, who has announced the three-month state of emergency to speed up search and rescue efforts in the quake-hit provinces, has been shooed away by the angry residents in Adiyaman province – one of the hardest hit by the quake – where he was told: “not to come asking for votes.”
Locals had been complaining that rescuers didn’t arrive in time to pull out people who survived the first critical hours. Some pointed to a lack of machinery to drill through slabs of concrete. “I did not see anyone until 2:00 pm on the second day of the earthquake,” Adiyaman resident Mehmet Yildirim said. “No government, no state, no police, no soldiers. Shame on you! You left us on our own.”
Erdogan himself admitted on Wednesday to “shortcomings” in earthquake response. He stressed that the weather conditions have added to the magnitude of the destruction caused by the earthquake. Erdogan made the remarks during his visit near the epicentre of Monday`s earthquake.
“Of course, there are shortcomings. The conditions are obvious. It is not possible to be prepared for such a disaster. We will not leave any of our citizens uncared for,” CNN quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan said, “No doubt, our job is not easy.” He said that 6,444 buildings collapsed due to the two earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes that jolted the nation on Monday. “We have mobilized all our resources. The state is working with municipalities, especially AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency), with all its means,” Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
The death toll in the deadly Turkkey-Syri earthquakes has climbed to at least 21,051 CNN reported citing authorities on Friday.
At least 17,674 people have died and 72,879 people have been injured in Turkey, according to Vice President Fuat Oktay on Thursday.In the contrast, according to the White Helmets civil rescue organization, in Syria at least 3,377 individuals were killed, including 2,030 in rebel-held areas in the northwest and 1,347 in government-controlled areas, as reported by Syrian state media.
Earthquakes of magnitudes 7.7 and 7.6, centred in the province of Kahramanmaras, were felt by 13 million people across 10 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa, as per the news report.
Turkey`s neighbouring countries, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the tremors.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday said that 75 nations and 16 international organizations have pledged aid to Turkey after the earthquakes jolted the nation, CNN reported. He said that 6,479 rescue personnel from 56 countries are in the field. He stated that teams from 19 nations will be in the United States within 24 hours.
“Teams from 19 more countries will be in our country within 24 hours,” CNN quoted Cavusoglu as saying. Global aid has been pouring into Turkey after Monday`s disaster, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people and injured over 70,000 more in the country and neighbouring Syria.
India is assisting Turkey in the ongoing rescue effort due to the crisis that has arisen after earthquakes rattled the nation. In order to aid those affected by the recent earthquakes that struck the nation, the Indian Army has sent out disaster relief teams and established a field hospital.